Anti-Vax Creep Facing Swift Consequences For Selling Nazi-Inspired Yellow Stars
It's not exactly hard to divine what Nashville milliner Gigi Gaskins thought she was doing when she went and announced on Instagram that her store, HatWrks, would be selling yellow Star of David badges similar to the ones Jewish people were forced to wear in Nazi Germany, with "Not Vaccinated" written on them. For months now, probably longer, various people not only across the country but across the world (even in Germany) have worn such badges in hopes that they will engender sympathy by comparing themselves to Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
The irony that they are the ones out there trying to kill people, clearly, has been lost on them. But they keep trying. And Gigi Gaskins probably thought "People will get it if I do this. They will see that people not wanting to be around me because I could transmit a deadly virus the same thing as killing people for practicing a different religion!"
patches are here!!! they turned out great. $5ea. strong adhesive back ... we'll be offering trucker caps soon.
Things did not go that way. Right now, there are people outside her store protesting and holding a large sign reading "No Nazis in Nashville."
A few guys are trading off holding this banner in front of #hatwrksnashville in Nashville. Yesterday, the store o… https://t.co/pWLWzktvXH— Chris Davis NC5 (@Chris Davis NC5)1622305790.0
Additionally, two of the biggest hat brands around — Goorin Bros. and Stetson, the latter of we can assume is very popular in Nashville — have announced that they reject Gaskin's nonsense and are looking into what actions they can take. Which means they're probably pulling out of her store.
To be clear, we do not condone or agree with the views of this individual. We are investigating internally what act… https://t.co/6P6m64JnIe— Goorin Bros. (@Goorin Bros.)1622258555.0
We are aware of the situation in Nashville. We take this matter seriously and are investigating in order to take th… https://t.co/3VUF8He4Ga— John B. Stetson (@John B. Stetson)1622295582.0
Other than Kangol and Brixton, which happen to be the only other two I've heard of, most of the other brands the store sells do not seem to have much of an active Twitter presence and haven't tweeted in years — so it's likely they haven't even heard about this yet, given that the story just broke this morning.
I don't really know how it is for hats, but many luxury and higher-end brands have a limit on the amount of stores in a given area that they will sell to, both because it hurts the brand and because stores don't want to all be selling the same things. It is likely that because HatWrks is selling Stetson and Goorin Bros. that another shop can't sell them, and will step up immediately to do so, meaning that if those companies drop her, they're probably not coming back.
The post has since been deleted, and Gaskins has put this post up as a response.
people are so outraged by my post? but are you outraged with the tyranny the world is experiencing? if you don't understand what is happening, that is on you, not me. i pay much more respect to history by standing up with the fallen than offering silence and compliance. that is the worse crime. it was then & is now. i will delete your disgust and hope you put it where it belongs.
The fallen, huh? Would that include Denver Police Deputy Daniel Trujillo, a fervent anti-vaxxer who recently died of COVID?
https://t.co/c1Z0nl8PcC https://t.co/oTFppMQSHG— Ken Klippenstein (@Ken Klippenstein)1622161372.0
Or not. Who else would "the fallen" be? Are we throwing people who refuse to get vaccines off roofs now?
What "tyranny" is it that she's talking about? How is she, personally, being tyrannized? There have always been vaccine requirements for certain activities, and other requirements for other activities. The state doesn't require you to get a driver's license because they want to do tyranny to you, they require it so that you are less likely to kill someone than you might be otherwise. The state isn't forcing anyone to get a vaccine, it's just being encouraged. People who haven't had vaccines are being encouraged to continue to wear masks because they could still spread the virus to other people who don't want it. That's all. It's not discrimination, it's not tyranny, it's a safety issue and a health issue.
And it is a whole lot different from throwing people in the gas chamber. Not even sort of comparable.
When Jewish people wore yellow star badges — not just during the Holocaust, by the way, but in various other times throughout history, for the explicit purpose of identifying them as Jewish in Christian or Muslim areas — they did not go and buy them at a hat shop by choice. They were forced to wear them. Required by law. They weren't wearing them to be petty. Wearing such stars on a voluntary basis is a signal to the world that not only do you not get that, but that you do not even care to find out.
It looks as though Gigi Gaskins has a lovely space for her shop, hopefully the business that moves in there after she implodes won't make her same mistakes.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse